I have come to realize as a person that there is always the last chance to learn the truth. The truth would definitely set one free. The truth about our country’s political activity must be told. I don’t know the actual truth but somebody knows the truth. Whether it is APC, PDP, Obanikoro or Asiwaju, I don’t know either but I know as a matter of fact that someone knows what majority of Nigerians do not know. I guess there is a game plan somewhere and it’s affecting us. As a person, I remain my humble self in the service of the Nigerian nation with priorities to issues as they affect the youths; the future of our great country. I therefore remain centered on essential implications of actions and inactions of our leaders on the lives of my constituency, the youths, rather than take sides.
My primary concern is not the rightness or wrongness of claims and counter claims of these leaders but how it affects our destiny as a people. I am more bothered by the fact, as I have repeatedly mentioned, that when our age mates in sister developing countries will be handed a working nation with well-defined national goals, national development plans and constructive national integration policies and guidelines, that are already in operation with timelines of progress reports, we will be handed over a failed state even without national goals nor role models.
I have never joined discussions on the older generations handing over to younger generations because the issues are much more than that. Handing over of leadership is not a choice; it’s an established natural law that nothing can change the ageing process. Those nations with enlightened leaders are conscious of the inevitability of death that is why they train younger ones to take over. Ours are grossly ignorant of this fact of life, that’s why they chose to be part of the problems of Nigeria rather than being part of the solutions. Why should we be engrossed in myopic politicking when our health system is amongst the worst in Africa, our education is deteriorating every day, corruption is escalating on exponential scale and employment is killing our national potentials, insecurity and terrorism have claimed several lives most among whom are productive youths. And above all, are the Chibok school girls that were carted away from school without a national security responsive other than a mockery of our political willpower and national dignity. The Boko Haram issue is a complete mockery of our national dignity and it is actually a manifestation of the degenerations in every department of our national architecture. I believe strongly that some people are working day and night to disintegrate our great nation. Unfortunately for us, they are more purposeful and better co-ordinated than our leaders across board. They are more dedicated to their mission than our leaders and even more disciplined.
Asiwaju made his own mistake in 2011 by delivering the southwest to PDP rather than CPC with whom they could have at least provided alternative governance for Nigerians and naturally he must receive his due chastisement as divine penalty. He actually allowed himself to be ‘used’ by the old Afenifere/NADECO caucus whose agenda since after June 12 is to move the Yorubas out of the Nigerian nationhood. The same folks are his greatest enemies today when he chose to merge with Buhari. Maybe Buhari’s tear of 2011 is what is haunting us all because the achievements of Asiwaju in our national polity are too significant to be made feeble by anybody not to talk of Obanikoro. Asiwaju had not only provided the people of southwest with a performance-based leadership template since 1999 but has successfully engaged the ruling party compelling it at all times to want to prove itself also virile. If it took the ruling party as much as mobilizing substantial components of the national security apparatus to ‘intimidate’ Ekiti to win the election, it only implies that Asiwaju and his party have not failed. It connotes too that the ruling party truly needs to employ purpose and respond to the security issues and Boko Haram in particular. The military machinery mobilized to Ekiti were more than what was required to have cordoned-off Bornu state immediately the presidency was alerted of the girls’ kidnapping and is also more than enough to ransack the Sambisa forest while the girls are/ were still kept there.
It should bother Nigerian youths, the future leaders, that the dignity of the Nigerian Army is being mis-managed when soldiers are so much involved in the electioneering particularly in opposition intimidation. When soldiers see how power is abused by ‘bloody civilians’ and their (the soldiers) hands were well-greased after ill-assignments, you are suggesting to them that it is wrong to be patriotic. Ambassador Obanikoro and of course his principals should know that it weakens the moral character of the military to be employed in domestic politicking. What matters to an average soldier shouldn’t be money. Once we degenerated into that, we would have destroyed the last apparatus of our national unity, discipline and integrity. All civil wars were marked by the disintegration of the army. If the army were one and its command unitary, any nation is secured within and safe from wars without. But when we divide the army, which is only possible when soldiers are weakened morally, it is then any nation suffers such internal and external threats that are threatening our security intelligence.
Ambassador Obanikoro would earn the respect of our youths if he could employ his new national assignment to checkmate our security threats. He is a politician so we cannot say he shouldn’t play politics. He attained his feats by virtue of his political values to his principals obviously. Our political atmosphere is not yet being dusted. There are no ideologies or principles driving the different camps. The singular driver remains personal interests and that is what poses serious danger to our future. How desperate the individual players are determines how volatile the atmosphere is and why we the youths should define our roles based on wise thoughts. If the amiable minister could have tweeted with #MO on 2nd July, 2014 at exactly 10: 31am that, ‘The Boko Haram mess we are dealing with was created by Tinubu’s friends who promised to make Nigeria ungovernable for this Government. #MO’. He definitely means he knows the people behind our security worries and he is not exposing them, He (Obanikoro) should be arrested, investigated, prosecuted and convicted. He simply means he is abating heinous crime against innocent Nigerians. Any calamity that befalls our nation now is not likely going to endanger lives of Asiwaju or Obanikoro. Even their pets could secure abode in the best cities in Europe and America and they are not likely going to live long enough to share our pains.
I therefore conclude by appealing to all political camps to appreciate that power plays could take place only when there is relative peace. No politicking takes place in a state of war. We should borrow leave from the wise saying of Magareth Fuller, that, “Men, for the sake of getting a living, forget to live”. If you have to destroy the nation to govern it, it only indicates how daft you are. When our nation got out of the June 12 crises, the IBB, Abiola, Abacha did not continue to enjoy their reign and glamour.
To the youths, I want us to divulge personalities from the politics so we can begin to evolve principles. If we demand it, we will compel them to give it. Our population is made up of over 62% youths. It means when BH (Boko Haram) kills 10 people, 6 youths were involved. When 10 people died in road crash, 6 youths are involved. When 10 people voted, 6 youths had voted. When 10 people joined a campaign train, 6 youths had joined. Let us appreciate our strength and understand that the money we got today by applying ourselves to the destruction of our fatherland, will not secure our future. Our sponsors would have gone when the consequences will effect. I leave you with a mind full of hope. If it is to be, it is up to you.
(WHYTE HABEEB IBIDAPO is a United Nations Award winner and Coca cola/ The Nation Campuslife Award Winner) Email: email@example.com @whytehabeeb
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